As tourism develops, various responses will
emerge, some in support and some in opposition. In the initial stages, responses to tourism
will be homogenous, but as tourism develops, residents’ reactions will vary as they gain more
understanding of tourism and are differentially affected by the industry.
To cope, residents may employ various strategies that may take the form of: resistance,
retreatism, boundary maintenance, revitalisation or adoption.
Typically, resistance, akin to
Doxey’s (1976) antagonism, is an extreme form of coping strategy, whereby residents who
are extremely dissatisfied with tourism development react by resisting all forms of tourism
development. According to Dogan (1989), countries with a colonial past where residents have
experienced the colonists’ disapproving and unfavourable behaviour in their relationships,
local people are more likely to resent tourists as they identified them with their colonist. This
has been evident in the Caribbean (De, Kadt, 1979; Dunn & Dunn, 2000). Residents may also
resent tourists if they are not allowed to use tourist facilities or where tourism highlights
differences in wealth and lifestyle between hosts and guests, leading to feelings of envy and
resentment by residents. This may result in enmity and aggression towards tourists (De Kadt,
Tourism and tourists become widespread among the local population
Dogan argues that every region has a threshold level for touristic development, and
when this threshold is exceeded, then negative feeling towards tourism and tourists become
widespread among the local population.
Best hotels and private apartments for holidays and vacations
He also outlined some of the conditions that may lead
to these feelings of resentment – for example, when there is a large number of tourists in a
destination and residents have to share facilities and services. Other conditions leading to
resentment are when the local population observe the material wealth and luxurious lifestyles
of tourists, or see an increase in the number of facilities managed by foreigners. Resentment
may also occur if there are conflicting norms of dress, speech, behaviour, or in situations
where tourists are perceived to violate local norms (De Kadt, 1979).
The second coping strategy that residents may employ to deal with tourism impacts is
retreatism. Retreatism occurs among residents who do not approve of the changes brought
about by tourism development. It can be both physical and psychological, whereby residents
can retreat in on themselves or avoid contact with outsiders by engaging in their own
traditions and reinforcing their ethnic values rather than participating in active resistance.
This reaction is in association with places where tourism is seen as an important economic
activity that cannot easily be given up. This leads to the community reviving some of their
The third coping strategy that may be adopted is boundary maintenance, where residents
recognise that tourism has both positive and negative impacts. Like retreatism, boundary
maintenance may also be physically and psychologically maintained. Physically, residents
may react by erecting a well-defined boundary between the host culture and tourists by
presenting their traditions to the tourist in a different context in order to minimize negative
effects on the local cultures. They may also decide which cultural traditions to present to the
tourist and which to keep private. Examples of this coping strategy have been cited in various
studies. For example, in Bali, traditional dances are presented to tourists in a different context
with a different meaning (Wood, 1980). Jordan’s (1980) study of a Vermont village in the
USA found similar findings where a phony folk culture was created by native residents in
order to preserve their culture. Other similar findings have been made in Spain (Boissenvain,
1996) and in Tonga (Connelly-Kirch, 1982).
Tourism may lead to a revitalisation of local cultures
In some instances, tourism may lead to a revitalisation of local cultures under threat of
disappearing due to the impact of industrialisation and urbanisation. Here they gained a new
meaning and thus become new tourist attractions. Some examples include the reinvigoration
of crafts such as pottery, basketry, decoration, jewellery and leather goods in Cyprus and
Tunisia (Andronicou, 1979). Tourists’ interest for these new traditions strengthens and leads
to the local residents’ acceptance.
Finally, adoption may occur when some members of the local population adopt the culture of
the tourists, typically defined as western culture. This is especially true amongst the younger
and more educated people in the host population, who view tourism as a positive agent of
change in the society and adopt the tourist values, symbolic of the western culture. An
example of this adoption was seen in Cyprus where young Cypriots adopt tourist values about
sex, dress and morality, which are quite different from their own traditional values
According to Dogan (1989), no society is homogenous. Thereforem this implies that various
combinations of the strategy may exist simultaneously or co-exist together because residents
are not uniform in their exposure to tourism development benefits. There will be some
residents benefiting from tourism that are more favourably inclined towards the industry than
those who do not gain any benefits. This will also determine their coping strategies. The level
of heterogeneity of the local population and power structure within a community may also
determine the differentiation of responses to tourism and the forms of strategies adopted. For
example, the young people are more curious and adventurous, so are more likely to come in
contact with tourists and also adopt their values. Cultural differences within the local
population may lead to favourable or unfavourable responses, depending on the similarities of
lifestyles of the residents to those of the tourists. The more similar the lifestyle, the more
adoptive the population will be towards tourism. Furthermore, since the cost and benefits are
not equally distributed, it may also lead to power and internal conflicts, leading to hostilities
between resident groups whose interests are differentiated.
Dogan (1989) noted that the strategies which the residents choose to cope with changes
brought about by tourism will also depend on the socio-cultural characteristics of the host
country and the level of change affected by tourism. If they perceived positive impacts, then
their reaction will also take the form of acceptance. But if they perceived them as negative,
then their reaction will be that of resistance.
Another contribution to the literature on resident responses to tourism development is that of
the Ap and Crompton model (1993). The results of their qualitative study, based on a small
community in Texas, suggest that residents employ four response strategies to cope with
tourist numbers and behaviour, depending on their level of interaction with them. Similar to
Dogan’s (1989) model, the Ap and Crompton model also observe that communities are not
homogenous; therefore, residents may employ a range of strategies to respond to tourism
impacts on a continuum: embracement, tolerance, adjustment and withdrawal. These four
strategies are likely to be adopted concurrently and, over time, residents are likely to shift
from one strategy to another in either direction on the continuum. Furthermore, the residents’
coping strategies do not always progress along the continuum in this order.
According to the Ap and Crompton model, in the initial development stages, residents
embrace tourism. But as tourism develops, their coping mechanisms evolve to tolerance and
adjustment to withdrawal. This model is similar to Doxey’s (1976) Irridex, discussed earlier
in this chapter. In embracement, residents welcome and express desire for more tourists
because they benefit economically or culturally. But as tourist numbers increase and more
encounters occur between residents and tourist, their embracement is replaced by tolerance.
Although there are some disruption to their daily lives, some residents do not resent the
inconvenience tourism brings. Instead, they tolerate the occasional disruptions because they
recognise the contribution tourism brings into their community. To avoid the negative
impacts, some adopt adjustment strategies where they reschedule or relocate their activities to
avoid areas where tourists frequent. This strategy is similar to Dogan’s (1989) boundary
maintenance or retreatism strategy, where residents who tolerate tourism adopt passive
acceptance of the industry by employing boundary maintenance strategies or retreat elsewhere
to avoid negative impacts. Finally in Ap and Crompton’s model, some residents may
withdraw – again, a similar but more extreme form of Dogan’s retreatism strategy, where
residents temporarily remove themselves, physically or psychologically, from the area.
Both these two models have some similarities and differences as that of Doxey (1976) and
Butler (1980). Both recognise that no community or population is homogeneous; therefore,
this will contribute to how its residents respond to tourism impacts. In addition, some
strategies may be simultaneously adopted or co-existing under different contexts. These
models also acknowledge that as tourism development progresses, negative impacts such as
social and environmental become more noticeable. The residents may perceive tourism
differently and react accordingly, where some may adopt tourism because it leads to
revitalisation of their cultures. Some will tolerate it because they depend on it for their
livelihoods, but may adopt retreatism or withdrawal strategies to avoid negative impacts.
Others may build boundaries, either physically or psychologically, to avoid the tourists.